Cheektowaga man sentenced for murder-arson

Dec 6, 2016

The Cheektowaga man convicted of strangling his girlfriend, then setting her body on fire inside their home, has been sentenced to 23 years in prison, plus five years post-release supervision.

The Erie County District Attorney's Office says the sentence for 59-year-old Thomas Murphy comes after a guilty plea to manslaughter in the first degree and arson in the second degree in October.

The DA says between April 22 and 24 of 2015, Murphy strangled 63-year-old Jean Hartwig inside their Williamstowne Senior Apartment and set her body on fire inside a bedroom.

“Despite all of our progress, domestic violence homicides are still far too common; indeed, one is too many," said Acting District Attorney Michael Flaherty. He urged anyone knowing a person at risk to call the New York State Domestic Violence Hotline at  800-942-6906.